Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome announced Wednesday that he was dropping out of the race after two accidents in the rain during the race's fifth stage in Arenberg, France.
Froome, who had been a roll at the Tour de France finishing second in 2012 before winning it all last year, told fans of his departure from the world's biggest cycling race on Twitter.
The New York Times reported
that Froome was the first defending champion to quit the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1980.
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According to The Associated Press
, Froome hurt his wrist in an accident during stage four Tuesday, then he fell early on the 94.5-mile route from Ypres to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut Wednesday, scaring up his right side.
Froome fell again about halfway through the stage before the first patch of cobblestones. Froome sustained a cut under his right eye in the fall and limped to a team car and left the race.
Froome's departure solidified Italy's Vincenzo Nibali as the Tour de France favorite to win it all, according to the Times. Nibali kept the yellow jersey as the race leader with a little more than two weeks left in the contest.
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford told BBC News
that he was impressed in Froome's attempt to keep racing despite his injuries during the fourth stage.
"Crashing yesterday and then crashing before the cobbles is obviously very, very disappointing and devastating for Chris but that is sport and we keep going," said Brailsford. "Chris was in pain before the stage, there is no denying that. You couldn't have had a worse moment to hurt your wrist the day before cobbles. It was going to be challenging and it will play on your mind but he was brave and was up for it and he wanted to fight for it."
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